Important information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Elective Surgery Update

ELECTIVE SURGERY

Commencing the 28th September 2020 all elective surgery has now been increased to 75% for all surgery categories. Any patients requiring emergency surgery will be unaffected. Please read below about Pre-Operative COVID 19 Testing requirements. 

PRE-OPERATIVE COVID-19 TESTING

Based on DHHS recommendations, we are now asking that all elective surgery patients undergo pre-operative COVID-19 testing.

This specifically applies to: 

  • All elective patients (including endoscopy) entering the operating suite require a negative COVID swab from within the last seven days. Please note this has now extended to all patients of metropolitan and regional Victoria to be mandatory by Monday 10th August. 

For further information please contact you treating doctor or our Pre-admission staff: (03) 9411 7111.


Maternity COVID-19 Testing (Swab) Update

ALL PREGNANT WOMEN

COVID-19 Testing (Swabbing)

  • Routine Covid-19 Testing requirements of pregnant women will cease effective midnight Tuesday 27th of October 2020.
  • Only those who are booked for a General Anaesthetic (GA) Caesarean section will require Testing (Swabbing) 3-5 days prior to their booked Caesarean section.  Immediately following the testing, the women are required to self-isolate until their admission. Please see further information in regarding self-isolation below.

COVID-19 Screening

  • All maternity patients will be screened utilising the Covid-19 screening questions prior to admission
  • If the patient is symptomatic or answers yes to the Covid-19 screening questions (positive screen), a Covid-19 test (swab) will also be required.

SELF ISOLATING

  • We ask that ALL women self-isolate immediately after their COVID-19 Test (Swab).
  • We encourage women to still attend essential doctors’ appointments but take necessary precautions when travelling to and from these appointments (wear a mask, socially distance and perform hand hygiene).
  • We ask that partners and support person also self-isolate during this time/

 PARTNERS/SUPPORT PERSONS

  • Partners/support persons are not required to have a COVID-19 Test (Swab) at this point in time.

WHERE TO GET A COVID-19 TEST (SWAB)

  • A pathology slip will be provided by your obstetrician, along with information on where you can receive the COVID-19 Test (Swab).  

 


Information for visitors

We now have NEW VISITOR RESTRICTIONS in place across all St Vincent's Private Hospital Melbourne Sites. 

VISITORS

We are pleased to advise that from Monday, October 12th, the following will apply to hospital visitors:

  • Within our inpatient units, 1 visitor per patient, per day, for a maximum of 2 hours
  • Visiting hours will be between 3 pm - 7 pm
  • Visitors are required to be 16 years or over
  • Due to social distancing requirements, and to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, we are unable to accommodate visitors in our Day Procedure units (including cardiovascular care centre), Day Infusion centres and Intensive Care Unit
  • Visiting restrictions to our Birthing Suite, Postnatal Unit and Special Care Nursery remain unchanged. Please follow St Vincent’s Private Baby for Maternity Updates
  • No visitors are to accompany anyone with appointments to consulting suites within our buildings, with the exception of care providers and parents/guardians accompanying children
  • 2 parents/guardians will be allowed to accompany a child for a hospital stay, however, no siblings are allowed

In exceptional circumstances, these restrictions can be reviewed on a case by case basis.

View information on the SVPHM Virtual Visitor Program.

MATERNITY:

  • At this time, visitors are unable to attend our maternity floors.
  • ONE support person allowed in the birth suite only
  • ONE support person allowed on postnatal floors
  • The support person cannot be interchangeable
  • All support persons will now be required to wear masks and will be provided with a level 1 surgical mask on arrival and registration
  • Nominated partner/support person can stay continuously for the duration of mums inpatient stay.
  • If they need to leave to go home after the birth, they may only return once per day for 2 hours during the postnatal stay.
  • A reminder that the nominated partner/support person cannot change throughout the woman's admission.


Additionally, to comply with the Victorian DHHS COVID-19 Guidelines; visitors to the hospital must undergo a temperature check, answer screening questions and provide their contact details to be permitted entry

Visitors will not be allowed to enter SVPHM hospitals if they:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results, and have not met the criteria for discharge from isolation
  • Have arrived in Australia from overseas within the past 14 days
  • Have had known contact with someone who has COVID-19 
  • Have a temperature above 37.5 degrees 
  • Have symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell or loss of taste)

 

If you enter the hospital, you must practise the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
  • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.



Social distancing

It is important to practise social distancing to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Important tips include:

  • You should aim to remain 1.5 metres apart at all times. If you are required to move closer than 1.5 metres, ensure that the time does not exceed 15 minutes
  • Do not shake hands
  • Do not share food
  •  


    Information for maternity patients

    To minimise the risk of COVID-19 to our maternity patients and their bubs, St Vincent's Private Hospital Melbourne has increased its precautionary measures and are restricting visitors to our maternity floors. Partners OR a support person (only one) are still welcome however we respectfully ask that other family members and friends do not visit at this time.

    We ask that partners OR support persons do not attend if they are experiencing at least one of the following symptoms and/or you have been overseas, or in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

    ▪️Fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or wheezing, breathing difficulties▪️

    This decision has been made based on the most recent information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services around COVID-19. We will continue to provide updates and notify our SVPHM community when this precautionary measure changes 

    Maternity tours and education classes

    In response to the changing COVID-19 situation, for the safety of our patients and staff, we have taken the decision to postpone our group maternity tours and classes.

    Our maternity units are in the process of changing the way Childbirth Education classes are offered to our expectant parents during the COVID-19 situation. At this present moment, our Child Birth Education Classes have been made available online through a series of videos. If you are an expectant parent of SVPHM, you will receive an email with information on how to access this material.  

    Luxury hotel stays for maternity patients

    Due to the evolving situation, to prioritise the safety of our mothers and babies, we have decided to pause the Park Hyatt Family Retreat option. We apologise for this inconvenience and will update you with new information in the coming weeks.

     

    FAQs

    What is this virus?

    Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The virus first seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there has been a significant increase in new cases across many countries in Europe and around the world. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

    What are the symptoms?

    Symptoms include fever OR an acute respiratory infection and include (but are not limited to) cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath with or without a fever.

    How is the coronavirus spread?

    The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person by:

    • Direct close contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
    • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
    • Touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables or face masks) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

    Most infections are transmitted by people when they have symptoms. There is now some evidence that people could be contagious before showing symptoms.

    How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
    • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
    • cough and sneeze into your elbow
    • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
    • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

    Where are the COVID-19 clinics and testing centres located?

    COVID-19 clinics and assessment centres have been established at various sites across Australia. Please click on the relevant link below to view the services available in your state:

    Can I still visit my specialist/doctor even if we are locked down for COVID-19?

    Yes, visiting your doctor is considered an essential indoor gathering under current guidelines. That means you must adhere to social distancing measures by keeping a distance of 1.5m between yourself and other people and good hygiene practices including using hand sanitiser before and after your visit with your doctor.

    What does isolate in your home mean?

    People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home. There is no need to wear masks in the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.

    How is the virus treated?

    There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. Some people will require hospitalisation.    

    Where can I get more information?

    Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at www.health.gov.au.

    Call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.

    Discuss any questions you have with the Public Health Agency monitoring you.

    Contact your state or territory public health agency:

    • ACT call 02 5124 9213
    • NSW call 1300 066 055
    • NT call 08 8922 8044
    • QLD call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
    • SA call 1300 232 272
    • TAS call 1800 671 738
    • VIC call 1300 651 160
    • WA visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au or call your local public health unit